Scientific American: A Brief History of Mental Illness In Art.
Puts me in mind of the discussions we used to have around art classes when I was a high schooler … the great question, “Can you be a great artist if you’re not seriously mentally ill?” Even in college, ‘normal’ kids were discounted by the artistic peers if they weren’t completely immersed in drug-experimentation and peer-approved deviations.
NY Times: Why Do I Teach?
“We should judge teaching not by the amount of knowledge it passes on, but by the enduring excitement it generates. Knowledge, when it comes, is a later arrival, flaring up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.” +1.
Guardian.UK: Timbuktu’s literary gems face Islamists and decay in fight for survival.
“We are all Muslims, and in Timbuktu our practical version of Islam has existed for centuries. [snip] But they practise an archaic Islam and do not consider these writings as the authentic Qur’an because they cover not only religion but science, astronomy, history and literature. That’s their ideology and we don’t support it.”
OpenCulture: Philosopher Daniel Dennett Presents Seven Tools For Critical Thinking.
“Often known as reading in ‘good faith’ or ‘being charitable,’ this second point is as much a rhetorical as a logical tool, since the essence of persuasion involves getting people to actually listen to you. And they won’t if you’re overly nitpicky, pedantic, mean-spirited, hasty, or unfair.” Ah, I hear that one resonating through thirteen+ years of emails and comments.
MSNBC: Charges dropped against Florida teen over amateur science experiment.
“The Florida teenager who was arrested two weeks ago for causing a small explosion on the campus of her high school will not be charged with a crime. Kiera Wilmot, 16, was arrested by police in Bartow, Florida, after conducting an unauthorized science experiment which lightly damaged an eight ounce plastic water bottle.” My emphasis.
Guardian.UK: Cornel West—‘They say I’m un-American.’
I find his most vociferous critics have never, ever heard him speak.
BBC: ‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals.
“The good news is that our research provides new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2C rather than 4 degrees.””
The Economist: English and Dravidian—Unlikely parallels.
ArtDaily: French archaeologists uncover a Gallic necropolis from the 4th/3rd centuries BC.
Bullseyes mark the spot.
wordlessTech: What do philosophers believe?
Guardian.UK: Florida student charged and expelled after ‘science experiment’ goes awry.
Seems to me the teacher needs the discipline, not the student. Hmmm?
Guardian.UK: Louisiana counts the cost of teaching creationism – in reputation and dollars.
“With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state’s public schools.” Ah, the effects of religious Lysenkoism in America. That’ll drive us to the top of the world stage, surely. As a laughingstock.
ArtDaily: 15th-century illuminated manuscript acquired by The Israel Museum and The Met.
Pacific Standard/Book Review: Neuro and One Nation Under Stress
“There’s evidence that many of our organs, including those of our digestive systems, have ‘minds’ of their own. Whether they have a worldview as well—well, it’s probably too soon to say.” I hear it now; E. Coli as unlawful combatants.
NY Times: Cooper Union Will Charge Tuition in 2014.
“But beginning in fall 2014, it will charge students based on what the college described as a steeply sliding scale, with those deemed able paying around $20,000, and many others, including those ‘with the greatest needs,’ paying nothing. The change would not apply to undergraduates enrolled as of this fall.”
BBC: Shakespeare scholars try to see off the Bard’s doubters.
No matter how Shakey, I’ll always believe in the Bard. I packed him as a stupidly heavy hardback in my backpack to Big Bend in ‘78, and got to know him better than in any English class.
ScienceMag: When Does Your Baby Become Conscious?
Apparently at 5 months old. The fact they recognize faces at three months doesn’t count?
CoffeeStrap: CoffeeStraps are happening!
Connecting people who wish to speak in certain languages at coffeeshops.
Reuters: Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown.
Huh? Digging quickly, it seems like there’s a prediction that the next decade will not warm as fast, because of sea currents. I’ll have to spend time to roust out more info.
Salon.com: GOP’s go-to economics study debunked.
“The debt needs to be thought of as a response to the contigent circumstances we find ourselves in, with mass unemployment, a Federal Reserve desperately trying to gain traction at the zero lower bound, and a gap between what we could be producing and what we are. The past guides us, but so far it has failed to provide an emergency cliff. In fact, it tells us that a larger deficit right now would help us greatly.”
OpenCulture: “Hummingbird,” A New Form of Music Notation.
I always wondered why musical notation has never been modified. Learning to ‘read’ has always been a turning-away point for many.
Pacific Standard: Why Chess Should Be Required in U.S. Schools.
No, they should teach poker. Chess gives you perfect knowledge of the other person’s play. Nothing is hidden but their choices. Poker hides your opponent’s cards, and he could be bluffing … just like real life. See Von Neumann’s work on game theory. And be warned, what they may actually end up teaching is ‘naked self interest.’
NY Times: A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent.
“We’ve drawn our most talented young people into financial shenanigans, rather than into creating real businesses, making real discoveries, providing real services to others. More efforts go into ‘rent-seeking’ — getting a larger slice of the country’s economic pie — than into enlarging the size of the pie.” Just as folks dropped quality content for gaming search engines, back a while ago.
ScienceDirect.com/Icarus: The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code.
Seen, doubted. Sounds very similar to Sagan’s book Contact, finding patterns inside of pi.
SciAm: Is the Meaning of Your Life to Make Babies?
“Reproduction and genetic survival may be the meaning of Life, but it is not inescapably the meaning of your life. So, in the end, the full answer is no — we do not bestow having babies as the sole guardians of life’s meaning. But we do need to respect and grapple with the view.” Perhaps simply having enough intelligence to avoid acting like a virus.